I went on my annual fabric spree this summer at Osgood’s Fabrics in Springfield, MA. What a wonderful place. Here’s a shot of just one of the aisles:
And there are lots and lots of aisles, just like this one, with bolts of fabric that are all probably from the 70s. Polyester Paradise. And this is after they cleaned up the place when they moved locations a few years ago.
Anyway, while poking around I found a bolt of a polyester dress material–white with grass green polka dots! Heaven! And the best part was that the polka dots aren’t regular, but slightly askew. I got three yards, but honestly I should have gotten five because I love polka dots and I love green. We had to go to a wedding reception in the middle of our trip, so the polka dots got used for Simplicity 2640.
It’s a cute dress pattern and it goes together really easily. The back is also quite nice–a little low cut, but you can still wear a bra with it. I like the pleat detailing, but I will say, that the dress fits a bit oddly.To begin with, I had to take it in considerably in the back because otherwise it made me look quite pregnant when viewed from the side. It may partially have been my fabric choice, but I think the main problem is that the pleats in the back hit quite high. Say, about 2 or 3 inches below the bra. That seems really weird to me, because of course you don’t want the pleats flaring out that high on your back. I wish I had noticed this before I cut the fabric, because I’d definitely have fixed it so that the back bodice would extend down further and thus position the pleats closer to my lower back. This would make the pleats open the fabric up over the hips, where most of us need the extra width, as opposed to over my natural waist, where I need less width. I like the dress style enough that it would be worth redrafting a new back. The pleats are quite lovely and they fancy up what is otherwise a very simple pattern.
I was trying to figure out why Simplicity would have drafted the pleats at a point where they aren’t particularly necessary, and I think it may be because Versions B and C of the dress have open-backs. I wasn’t crazy about that, so I just used the back from Version A, but the bodice from Version C. I’m realizing now that this may be why the pleats hit so far up the back–if they were lower, this would be a pretty revealing open-backed dress. Particularly for the 16 year old prom girl on the envelope cover. She obviously made the open-backed version against her mother’s wishes and now is having to stand with her back against a wall all night just so it doesn’t show in any of the pictures.
Sadly, the center front seam is pretty visible when wearing polka dots.
Instead it just looks kind of rumpled. Oops.